The Dutch government announced in June 2019 the introduction of a waste import tax to take effect from 1st January 2020. Ever since the announcement of the tax, tonnages of RDF exported from England into the Netherlands have shown a significant decrease. Data from England shows that tonnages have dropped below 100,000 tonnes since August 2019. In February 2020, when demand is usually very high, only 56,000 tonnes was exported, down from 122,000 tonnes in February 2019, a 54% drop. Figures this low have not been seen since April 2012 when the export industry was in its early stages.
The total tonnage of RDF being exported to all off-take nations has also fallen significantly, from 383,000 tonnes in January and February 2020 as compared to 601,000 tonnes in the same two-month period in 2019. As this waste does not appear to be being diverted to other off-take nations, and with non-landfill residual treatment options in the UK over-capacity, this waste is almost certainly being landfilled, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The Group continues to call on the Dutch government to remove the waste import tax because of these negative effects. For more information see the Group’s briefing note and further analysis of the data by Footprint Services.